5 Reasons You're Wasting Your Money On A Bookkeeper

Don't worry. I haven't lost my mind. I know I have written a few posts over the years telling you why it's important to have a bookkeeper.

What I do see too often though, is people not using their bookkeeper properly. They get the very bare essentials done in order to file their returns each year, and little else.

In my opinion, it's a big waste of money.

Yes, I (or any other bookkeeper) can spend a couple hours and give you a quick report on how you "did" last year. However, most software can do the bulk of that work automatically too. If I spent a couple hours setting up rules in Xero you almost could have it all done by itself.

So, if you're wanting to get a passing grade on "Tracking My Finances 101" that is the lowest you need to set the bar. If, instead, you'd like to grow your business and get the most out of the bookkeeper you hired, here are 5 reasons you are currently wasting your money on your bookkeeper.

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QuickBooks Online: First Impressions

Last week I told you I was about to make the jump to QuickBooks Online. I also said this wouldn't become a site just about QuickBooks. Both of these things are true.

I had a chance to get my client file setup, and put it through a few good tests last week so I wanted to give you my first impressions. Maybe a month or so from now I'll give you another update, once I have really put it through its paces.

The Basics

I won't go into details about the client, but I think it's important to give you an idea of the type of work I'll be doing in QBO. It's a small business with less than 5 employees that will require payroll. It has multiple bank accounts which get quite a lot of daily use. We need to track GST (sales tax), payroll tax, staff health insurance, loans, and shareholder activity. We need to track receivables and payables, and there's a good chance we'll want to eventually setup class tracking and job costing.

I will be reconciling the accounts daily, doing payroll weekly, and providing a basic set of reports weekly with a more detailed set monthly. Payroll remittances are monthly, GST returns quarterly, and then of course prepping for year end. This is all pretty standard stuff, but I think by the end of the year I will have used a large percentage of QBO's feature set.

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Switching to QuickBooks Online

I'm finally making the move to QuickBooks Online!

At least I'm going to give it a real effort. One of my clients was interested in moving things online. We've been using QuickBooks desktop since Day 1, so switching to QBO made the most sense. I didn't realize it at the time, but this is really my only regular QB desktop client. I have some that I do year end work with, but in terms of daily bookkeeping...this is the last of its kind. (please read that last part in your best Sean Connery voice)

I know what you're saying. Yes, I'm really late to the party here. It's kinda like having someone come up to you and tell you how they just discovered Mumford & Sons. I was just sent a press release from Intuit that shows that QBO has just surpassed 1 million users. Being the 1,000,001th of anything doesn't get you cutting edge status so I'm aware that my indie cred is taking a real beating here today.

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Don't assume this about your bookkeeper

I keep hearing a similar anecdote from my favourite podcasters and bloggers. They'll run into a problem, Google for a solution, and find that a post that they wrote a long time ago shows up in the results. Turns out I'm in good company. 

An idea for a post came to me over the weekend. I knew it was an idea I had considered before. Turns out I had gone the extra step and written about it...5 years ago. 

I think the advice is still relevant. I hope you agree.

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Bookkeeping and Technology - Part 3: The Big Picture

Today I conclude this 3-post series about bookkeeping and technology. In true Eric fashion, I have managed to take a simple idea and turn it into thousands of words.

This final post is going to take a sharp 180. The first post talked about my initial foray into running my own online business. The second post talked about other bits of tech that I use in my day to day operations. I'd like to finish up with deciding if technology has actually made life any easier.

No...I don't think it has.

Let me explain.

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Bookkeeping and Technology: Part 2: My Setup

This is the second post in my series about bookkeeping and technology. Last time I wrote about the early days of moving my business online. Today I'd like to talk about the tech I use and how it has changed the way I run my business. For the sake of brevity we'll stick to what I use for client bookkeeping.

My basic criteria:

If my client is going to be using it, I want the interface clean and simple. There should be as little industry jargon as possible.

Is this a slight on my clients? Of course not.

My job as a bookkeeper isn't just to record business data and generate reports. My job is to make that part of an owner's business as simple as possible. I want my client to worry as little as possible about entering data so they can get back to doing what they do best.

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